The Iron Ones moved closer to Europe after beating Frankfurt on Sunday and their Nigerian export was once again at the center of it all
Taiwo Awoniyi’s career is far from the perfect play, but it delivers a theatrical masterpiece that keeps audiences on their toes, waiting for the next scene every moment.
The Nigerian’s time at Liverpool would have been the stuff of fondest dreams, but reality had other plans. It was as bright as it was dark but offered direction on what might be the perfect terrain to climb up.
As a Liverpool player, Awoniyi was loaned out seven times to Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands and these moves eventually became important to his career. Still far from the finite element, his failure to secure an invitation to the Super Eagles, sometimes unfairly, extinguished his chance to challenge for a shirt, even as a player in the Liverpool team.
Injuries too have become an albatross and for a young striker, coming straight from where Awoniyi came from, it took particular courage to pull himself together and not implode in the thick of the challenge.
Union Berlin offered the perfect opportunity to thrive with reduced pressure. After playing with the capital club for six months, they had seen enough to reach into their purses and pour the cash on the Nigerian. It is an excellent investment in terms of added value and resale power.
This season, Awoniyi has represented the Super Eagles in a major tournament and no longer has any problems with his work permit. He has also been impressive in the Bundesliga despite seeing his form take a hit following the departure of Max Kruse.
Kruse characterized the height of the system that beats Awoniyi’s suits. He thrives on the support behind and has always been a handful to play just ahead of the German.
It took the striker a couple of weeks to come back after Kruse was cleared to leave for Wolfsburg, but he bounced back quickly and is impressive again.
Awoniyi’s 13 Bundesliga goals this season are the most ever scored by a Union Berlin player in the Bundesliga and in just over a season the striker has become a cult hero at the club.
— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) April 17, 2022
His current status makes him a fan favorite but the club know it is a logical solution to allow the player to leave if better offers arise. What needs to be asked, however, is whether any movement favors Awoniyi at the moment.
By the time the transfer window opens and business is in order, the striker will be 25, a good enough age for a striker to reach his peak. The last few years have been a particular learning curve for the striker and he may be keen to step away from the Bundesliga with interests growing from the Premier League. This, however, may not be good judgment.
It’s every Nigerian footballer’s dream to play in the Premier League for reasons too clear to argue, but many have also taken the plunge when they were least ready.
Gangling, powerful and poised, Awoniyi’s characteristics as a striker will make him a contender for the Premier League, but the time for the move may come too soon, especially as he has only known one season. only successful season in the Bundesliga.
He needs to hone his craft, hone his qualities and improve his weaknesses, some of which are a workaround in the Bundesliga but will be highlighted in the Premier League.
The pace of English football has similarities to the Bundesliga but the expectations are much higher.
Awoniyi should want to spend more time in the Bundesliga, make the league his own, especially since he is settled with his family in Germany and should establish himself as a true hero of the Union.
Union Berlin are set to play in Europe again next season, and it will be a perfect chance for the striker to gain more experience and exposure in continental football.
The past year has undeniably been the best of his career and he should enjoy it as much as he can and carve his name further in a major European league.
As long as he keeps shooting and scoring, the Premier League will always be the destination, but it’s better to do it with patience than haste.
The moment is a hot and spicy stew, it is to be tasted little by little, otherwise it burns the tongue.